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February 21, 2012

2011-12 Season - Vikings drop regular season finale

Sophomore Kevin Schlitter was Augustana's second leading scorer in Tuesday's 74-44 loss at #22 Wheaton. Schlitter had eight points and grabbed four rebounds.

WHEATON, Ill. - A red-hot Wheaton team combined with an extremely cold shooting performance from Augustana spelled doom for the Vikings on Tuesday, February 24 at King Arena and the result was a 74-44 Thunder victory in the regular season finale for both teams. The game featured a matchup of two clubs ranked in the top 25 of the latest NCAA Division III national ranking but on this night it was all Thunder.

Wheaton shot .529 (27-51) from the field and held Augustana to just .286 (14-49) and the result was a lopsided Thunder win. Wheaton raced out to a 6-0 lead and by 13:27 of the first half that advantage was double digits at 13-3. The Vikings managed to trim it to six (13-7) at 11:35 on a basket by Brandon Kunz (Lake Zurich HS, Lake Zurich, Ill.). At 9:52, however, the Thunder's Aaron Garriott scored to make it 18-7 and the home team's lead would never dip into single digits the rest of the night.

Augustana shot just .182 (4-22) in the first half and trailed 33-17 at intermission. In the second half Wheaton made 15 of 26 shots (.577) to dispel any notion of a Viking comeback.

Senior Bryant Voiles (Byron HS, Byron, Ill.) was the lone Augustana player in double figures as he scored 13 points. He was just two of seven from the field but made eight of nine free throws. The second leading scorer for the Vikings was Kevin Schlitter (Maine South HS, Park Ridge, Ill.) with eight points.

Wheaton used 22 points from Jeremy Pflederer and 21 from Tim McCrary to pace its attack. McCrary also grabbed 11 rebounds as the two teams tied in that department with 31 apiece. Junior Kameron Norton (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) led Augustana in rebounding with eight.

Augustana falls to 19-6 overall and 9-5 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin while Wheaton moves to 20-5 and 11-3. Both teams will be in action this weekend at the CCIW Tournament in Naperville, Illinois. Wheaton, the number two seed, will take on third seeded Illinois Wesleyan in the first semi-final game on Friday, February 24 while Augustana, the fourth seed, will tangle with host North Central, the conference champion, in the nightcap.